Making peace on peace day

Our news is often filled with evidence of conflict on a grand scale. It can give the impression that conflict is a large-scale affair taking place some way away and in which, by implication, many of us have no part.

Yet the most cursory survey can remind us of the conflict that is in our lives. Perhaps you have some inner conflict that is leaving you feeling torn right now – for whatever reason. Perhaps you are aware of some conflict in your workplace, barely expressed but simmering and visible. Perhaps, as you survey your immediate and extended family, you notice myriad major and minor disagreements which, over time, have been written into the ongoing “story” of your family.

Today, 21st September, is Peace Day, an annual day whose significance is growing around the world. You can find out about Peace Day by watching two short videos at the Pathfinder website or by going to http://www.peaceoneday.org/.

In talking about peace, I’d like to mention the work of Marshall Rosenberg (as I have done many times) author of Nonviolent Communication: A Language for Life. Marshall has dedicated many years to evolving and sharing a way of communication which promotes peace.

Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, asks in the short films I mention above: “What will you do to make peace on 21st September?” I offer the following suggestions for any reader who is seeking inspiration and I also invite you to share via the comments box below: What did you do today to make peace and with what outcomes?

Here are my suggestions:

  • Try peace on for size: take five minutes to contemplate a world in which peace is the norm. As you imagine this world, notice what it evokes in you – what feelings, thoughts and so on. And if you find yourself thinking “yes, but” let go of the gap between now and peacetime and step back into living in a world in which peace is the norm;
  • Take ten minutes to find out about Peace Day by watching the videos above or going to http://www.peaceoneday.org/;
  • If you haven’t read Marshall Rosenberg’s book, Nonviolent Communication: A Language for Life, buy your copy today – and be sure to read it before this time next year!
  • Ask yourself, is there anyone with whom I’d like to make peace right now? And if there is, consider what steps you can take to make peace with that person or people;
  • Talk about peace today. Follow your instincts to decide who you would like to talk with and ask them if they know that today is international Peace Day.

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